BREAKING: Justice Dept. to visit New Smyrna Beach to investigate KKK situation in African-American Westside

Mayor Adam Barringer, Councilwoman Deborah Denys remain silent

KKK flyers left in front of homes in New Smyrna Beach's black Westside community / Hreadline Surfer®

New Smyrna Beach Mayor Adam Barringer, member of all-white, all-male Anglers Cub silent on KKK / Headline Surfer®County Councilwoman Deb Denys silent on KKK in New Smyrna Beach / Headline Surfer®Headline Surfer® video and photos /
While the Rev. Lorenzo Laws was praying with his congregation  in the black Westside community of New Smyrna Beach tthat was the target of hate recruitment flyers of the KKK, Mayor Adam Barringer, a member of the all-white, all-male Anglers Club,  and County Councilwoman Deb Denys, remained silent and out of media reach.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Pastor Lorenzo Laws of the Allen Chapel AME Church informed his parishioners in Sunday morning's sermon that he was contacted by a senior staffer in the Miami field office of the U.S. Department of Justice and she's making arrangements to personally pay a visit to the city and "get to the bottom" why blacks got the lion's share of Ku Klux Klan flyers.

The flyers -- with the image of the over-sized white hood that since the early days of Jim Crow has been the unmistakable symbol the mark of the militant and cross-burning Ku Klux Klan -- were contained in clear plastic baggies with fishing weights in them so they wouldn't blow away.

Headline Surfer®, which quickly followed Orlando's FOX 35 in breaking the story, was the lone media outlet to pay a visit to the church for Sunday's worship attended by 40 or so regular worshippers who mostly live in the tight-knit Westside, borne out of segregation, with separate black public schools as late as 1969.

Laws told Headline Surfer®, that he didn't contact the Justice Department, but rather "they contacted me after learning about it online with your reporting and the other (bigger) media reports.

"They're going to bring an entourage and they're going to "get to the bottom of it," Laws told the 24/7 internet newspaper, reiterating what he had informed his congregants moments earlier in his sermon.

New Smyrna Beach police took filled out complaints from four residents and ended its investyigation within hours, even noting in its own incident report that that was trickled to media outlets over a period of days with no press release issued nor any attempt made to contact the FBI or the Justice Department.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.